Barista Magazine

AUG-SEP 2018

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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What are you taking away from our awesome coffee world right now? Let us know about cool trends, fun gear, killer drinks, events, places, people—you get the idea! Email takeaway@baristamagazine.com. Glitter Cat Barista Bootcamp: USBC training for LGBTQ+, women, POC, and non-cis barista competitors You have to understand what it takes not just in terms of skill, but also mental preparedness and overall approach to make the finals at the highly competitive United States Barista Championship (USBC), like T. Ben Fischer did in Seattle in April. It's even harder to suss out what's required to win, T. Ben thinks, if you hail from a marginalized community and therefore experience particular trepidation about taking part in the high- stakes coffee contest. That's what inspired T. Ben—who placed second in the 2018 USBC— to create the Glitter Cat Barista Bootcamp (GCBBC), an intensive three-day workshop to be held in Philadelphia in October 2018 designed specifically for women, non-cis individuals, those identifying as LGBTQ+, and/or POC. "This program is a way to increase representation and diversity on the USBC stage that so often is full of straight white men," says T. Ben. "Glitter Cat works to share as much information—tricks, treats, and techniques—from industry leaders to build up our current and next generation of barista champions coming from many different walks of life. There is so much we can learn from folks who have not had the opportunity to use their voice yet, so let's work together to build each other up, increase our representation, and promote inclusion and diversity during these events." Past and current coffee competition champions and runners up, as well as veteran judges and coaches, are set to teach during the intensive course, which will combine discussion groups with one-on-one workshopping opportunities. GCBBC's generous sponsors will provide participants with travel, room, board, and education for no cost other than a commitment to developing their competition skills, and supporting others hailing from marginalized groups. As T. Ben's vision is to cultivate future barista competition champs, he's designed the curriculum to best benefit first- or second-time competitors who have already qualified at one of this summer's preliminary competitions for the USBC Qualifiers. Interested in participating in the inaugural Glitter Cat Barista Bootcamp this fall? Just stay tuned to www.glittercat.com for application details. Note that space is extremely limited, and participants will be determined by a committee of known coffee professionals based on short- answer questions and an essay. Lastly: T. Ben is in the process of lining up sponsors for GCBBC, so interested parties should contact him directly at glittercatbarista@gmail.com. www.glittercatbarista.com Agnieszka's magic WBC table When the World Coffee Events board came up with the idea to give World Barista Championship (WBC) competitors freedom to arrange the layout and height of their two station tables, we doubt they envisioned how creatively Poland's Agnieszka Rojewska would interpret the offer. Agnieszka—who would go on to win the 2018 WBC—arrived at the competition in Amsterdam with a stack of wooden puzzle pieces built by her dad, Jacek, which, when put together, created a table with cubbies for stashing equipment. Agnieszka recalls struggling with the idea of sacrificing tabletop space for storage, so—with the new option to change up the competition tables—asked her dad to build a table that, when fitted together, would sit on top of one of the competition tables that had been lowered a certain number of inches. The only problem? Putting it together during her 15 minutes of prep time and still having time to pull practice shots on stage. "My dad said to me, 'You can build it in 20 minutes,' and I'm like, 'Great, I have only 15 minutes!'" Agnieszka says. "I knew I had to set it up in less than 10 minutes, so I spent a few days practicing [putting it together] for seven or eight hours each day, in order to be more confident. When I started, it took 27 minutes to put it together, then 17 minutes, then 15, then 8. The fastest time was 4:37 in Poland. I practiced it also backstage, and my best, best time was 3:37. You cannot do it faster." The set is composed of eight pieces made from plywood that fold flat for transport. She says with a smile, "I think I did the table set-up practice more times than my whole routine." PHOTO COURTESY OF SCA PHOTO BY ECHO LOU PHOTO COURTESY OF SCA At top: Agnieszka puts together her competition tabletop during her prep time at the WBC. Below: Designed and built by Agnieszka's dad, Jacek, the table sits on a lowered competition table and provides Agnieszka with cubbies to store equipment during her performance. T. Ben Fischer in the 2018 USBC fi nals 20 barista magazine

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